News / Science & Technology

Facebook Adds 'Hashtag' Feature, Taking a Page from Twitter

FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, March 7, 2013.
FILE - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, March 7, 2013.
Reuters
— Facebook Inc., the world's No. 1 social network, is adopting the “hashtag,'' one of the most recognizable features of its younger rival Twitter, in a move to position its web service as an important complement to television, sporting events and breaking news.
 
Facebook said on Wednesday that it will begin to roll out the feature on its social network, making it easier for users and advertisers to find hot spots of user activity around specific events or topics.
 
The hashtag, which appears as the # symbol and was first popularized on Twitter, enables users to follow specific topics of conversation within a social network's ever-changing stream of user comments.
 
Facebook users will now be able to group comments on the same topic by typing the hashtag alongside a keyword - such as #election - at the end of a post.
 
The hashtag has proven to be a handy system for social networking users to join online conversations as events unfold in real-time, such as political debates, television shows and sports. And it provides an easy way for advertisers to reach a particular audience.
 
“Between 88 and 100 million Americans log in to Facebook every night during prime time TV hours, which represents a significant opportunity for broadcasters, advertisers and our other partners,'' Justin Osofsky, director, platform partnerships and operations at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday. A recent episode of the "Game of Thrones" series on HBO generated 1.5 million mentions on Facebook, he said.
 
Until now, however, Facebook said in a separate blog post on Wednesday, its service lacked a “simple way to see the larger view of what's happening or what people are talking about.''
 
Whether conversations about events on Facebook will have the same level of activity and comments as on Twitter is not clear. Unlike tweets, which are public and viewable to all users, most comments posted on Facebook are only viewable to a user's circle of friends.
 
The company said that hashtags were the first of several new features that will be introduced to highlight discussions about events on Facebook.
 
The company is rolling out hashtags to roughly 20 percent of its users on Wednesday, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid